*From Monday 6 July, those shielding from coronavirus can gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a ‘support bubble’ with another household. Government support packages for shielded individuals will remain in place until Saturday 1 August, when clinically vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield. Full information on these changes is available here.*
About 1.5 million people in the UK are considered 'clinically vulnerable' with regard to coronavirus. This means they are at greater risk of becoming severely ill with the virus than the rest of the population. Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, the Government and the NHS have taken steps to contact these individuals, urging them to shield themselves in their homes for a minimum period of 12 weeks. Shielded individuals have been advised to avoid having any face-to-face contact at all wherever possible, and not to leave home for any reason. A full list of these individuals, and more detailed information about shielding, including what to do if you live with someone classed as extremely vulnerable, is available on the Government website here.
The Government is working with health services, care providers, local authorities, charities and supermarkets to make sure that vulnerable individuals can get the support they need to remain at home whilst shielding continues. Deliveries of food parcels are taking place to some of these individuals, and supermarkets including Sainsburys are using Government data to contact shielded individuals (as well as those over 70) to arrange online delivery services. If you wish to register as extremely vulnerable, you can do so on the Government website here.
Assistance in Northamptonshire
If you are vulnerable, and need help in Northamptonshire, you can call the Northamptonshire Community Resilience Service's hotline on the following number: 0300 126 1000 (option 5). Alternatively, you can email email@example.com. Several other local assistance schemes, dedicated to specific parishes and villages, can be found on Facebook.
NHS: 111 - only call this number if you cannot get help online at 111.nhs.uk. Do not visit your GP or attend hospital if you believe you have coronavirus. Do not call 999 unless your situation is a medical emergency.
Age UK helpline for over 70's in need of support: 0116 299 2239.
British Red Cross help page: https://www.redcross.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/uk-emergency-response/coronavirus.